• Sinatra

  • The Chairman
  • By: James Kaplan
  • Narrated by: Donald Corren
  • Length: 40 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (371 ratings)

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Sinatra  By  cover art

Sinatra

By: James Kaplan
Narrated by: Donald Corren
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Publisher's summary

Just in time for the Chairman's centennial, the endlessly absorbing sequel to James Kaplan's best-selling Frank: The Voice - finally the definitive biography that Frank Sinatra, justly termed "The Entertainer of the Century", deserves and requires. Like Peter Guralnick on Elvis, Kaplan goes behind the legend to give us the man in full, in his many guises and aspects: peerless singer, (sometimes) powerful actor, business mogul, tireless lover, and associate of the powerful and infamous.

In 2010's Frank: The Voice, James Kaplan, in rich, distinctive, compulsively understandable prose, told the story of Frank Sinatra's meteroic rise to fame, subsequent failures, and reinvention as a star of the stage and screen. The story of "Ol' Blue Eyes" continues with Sinatra: The Chairman, picking up the day after Frank claimed his Academy Award in 1954 and had reestablished himself as the top recording artist in music. Frank's life post-Oscar was incredibly dense: In between recording albums and singles, he often shot four or five movies a year; did TV show and nightclub appearances; started his own label, Reprise; and juggled his considerable commercial ventures (movie production, the restaurant business, even prizefighter management) alongside his famous and sometimes notorious social activities and commitments.

©2015 James Kaplan (P)2015 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Sinatra

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

So, So Long...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It drags, right from the start. I would have preferred a chronological biography of Sinatra's life. 41 hours examining every nuance and detail of the middle part of his career (maybe the book gets to the end of his career, I didn't finish it) was just far too much for me. Fascinating guy, but covered in far too much detail for me here.

How could the performance have been better?

The jumps in recording from one session to another and/or the subsequent edits aren't very smooth, they're actually quite jarring, with changes in tone and/or volume.

Was Sinatra worth the listening time?

Not for me, no.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

WAY too many peripheral inconsequential details

too many small details that led nowhere that could have easily been left out but seems they were added to lengthen the book, completely unnecessary. It dragged... I wanted to be done when I was halfway through.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, an excellent addition to Frank The Voice.

This is an excellent addition to the previous Frank The Voice. Kaplan's attention to detail is astounding and he ties Sinatra's life into relevant historical events very well. Truly the definitive Sinatra biography, an inspiring second book to an already inspiring first.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator sounds like he dislikes Sinatra!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a great book. The first part of this bio, The Voice, was just as well written. Both books are the last word on Sinatra (and Jonathan Schwartz agrees). But... the audiobooks are very different. The narrator of the first book, The Voice, Rob Shapiro, seemed interested in the subject and his warm tone towards the subject made it all stronger. The narrator of THIS book, however, sounds more like Lee Mortimer than a fan or even a neutral observer of Sinatra. He carries a snide undertone re: the singer throughout. Maybe it's just a mannerism?

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Donald Corren?

Rob Shapiro. Absolutely.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was very disappointed in the narration.

Any additional comments?

Thank you!

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Finally finished!

Way too long. Much more detail about musical arrangements than I cared for. Stuck with it because I wanted to hear about the celebrities in his life. I love his music but was so sorry to hear how mean he could be. It will be different now when I listen to him.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrific biography and fabulous audio voice. The best book on Sinatra ever - both in terms of his biography and his music.

Terrific biography and fabulous audio voice. I read the previous book and loved it as well but this is the best book ever on Sinatra - both in terms of his biography and his music. Incredibly well researched. I will check other books by this reader as he added immensely to the overall experience,

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story. Incredibly detailed.

What made the experience of listening to Sinatra the most enjoyable?

You are on the set of every movie and in the recording studio for every song ever recorded.

What did you like best about this story?

Nice perspective from family and friends and enemies. You get it all.

Which scene was your favorite?

I loved all the scenes with his conductors. How the work was done in the studio was fascinating.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Frequently laughed throughout. Lots of head shaking with Frank's behavior. The ending chapters are pretty sad to listen to.

Any additional comments?

Always though his marriage to Barbara Marx was happy. I guess not. Lots of the Kitty Kelley stories are repeated in this volume but most are detailed with supplemental insights that change the perspective a bit. Not a flattering portrayal but a fascinating story.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A complete anthology ..

This book is for those who want a lot of detail regarding Sinatra's life. Interesting, though plodding at times.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

couldn't put it down

I have read many bios on Frank. This one captures the very charasmatic, complex Sinatra like no other.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Phenomenal

A bear of book to get through yet equally rewarding. I'm at a loss for words myself. If your a fan...you won't be disappointed.

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2 people found this helpful